Airport Express for Heavy Use?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by SimpleSir, May 1, 2013.

  1. SimpleSir macrumors newbie

    May 1, 2013
    I really like the size and style of the airport express. Is it good enough for heavy use? I download and stream hundreds of gigabytes a month. I know it is missing some features like VPN and QoS, but that is okay as long as it completely stable and reliable.

    How are your Expresses working? Anything better available?
  2. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    I've been using mine constantly for 5 years. Absolutely reliable.
  3. Menel macrumors 603


    Aug 4, 2011
    They are reliable.
    They will do 100's of gigabytes per month.

    But there is nothing special about those requirements.

    Its a consumer class single port gateway/access-point.
  4. jg321 macrumors 6502

    Aug 29, 2012
    Agreed. Got two here, both work a treat.
  5. RadDave macrumors regular


    Apr 6, 2013
    North Carolina
    Really depends on your present (and future!) needs - I replaced my router recently after the purchase of a new iMac - two considerations are: 1) Need for more than one wired ethernet port; and 2) Support for multiple Wi-Fi computers and other devices. I have a wired computer (and possibly will wire in a printer); also there are 10 Wi-Fi devices in my home (and maybe more in the future) - I went w/ an AirPort Extreme - if you need no more that one wired port and have only a few Wi-Fi devices connected, then the Express should be fine - good luck! :)
  6. tdhurst macrumors 68040


    Dec 27, 2003
    Phoenix, AZ

    Benefits of the Extreme over the Express:

    a) better range (only helpful in large houses)
    b) handle more wireless clients (only necessary in an office situation)
    c) supports AirDisk (very useful — think Time Machine)
    d) more ethernet ports

    The opposite:
    a) smaller foot print
    b) half the price
    c) AirPlay support

    I just had my four-year-old Extreme die, and I was planning on getting another one, but after I found out the Express has one up and one down ethernet port, I grabbed the Express (I have a headless mini we use as a media server, the rest are wireless clients) and haven't looked back.

    Using Time Machine over the network is a little more of a hassle, as I have to mount a shared disk from the Mac Mini, but it's not something that's any more of a hassle than dedicating space on your desk and plugging into an HD whenever you want to back up.

    The Express streams to my AppleTV, handles LAN backup and screen sharing just as well as the Extreme did. Range is negligible in my 800 sq ft apt, but the WiFi extends at least 100 feet from my front door.
  7. AppleNewton macrumors 68000


    Apr 3, 2007
    1 Finite Place
    to add to the previous post's points.
    The AirPort Extreme not only helps in larger houses but in congested Wi-Fi network setups where there may be alot of interference, ie Apartments.

    The AirPort Express antennas should be strong enough to have a solid network in such an environment. if you dont have a need for multiple wired devices then by all means the AirPort Express is a fully capable device.
  8. johnnnw macrumors 65816


    Feb 7, 2013
    It's a good device. I didn't like the limited number of ports on the cheap one though. I needed a lot more.
  9. MUBiomed macrumors 6502


    Apr 24, 2010
    Airport Express for Heavy Use?

    I used to have a time capsule and an AirPort Extreme in the past. I have gotten away from a desktop and traditional office setup in my house and now use an airport express. The AirPort Express is more than capable for my needs with numerous wireless clients, gaming, port settings, etc.

    Works like a charm.
  10. phrehdd macrumors 68040


    Oct 25, 2008
    Having used both Airport Express and the Extreme, the Extreme is a better performer.

    What I did find over time is that there are alternatives that offer far more than either of the Apple offerings. Since everyone has different experiences for both connected and wifi, I would highly suggest you consider venturing over to the SmallNetBuilder site that offers reviews and tests on various routers.

    I ended up for my needs retiring 2 Extremes and one Express in favour of another brand of router that not only performed better, but had more Ethernet connections, superior access to controls including security and more consistent wifi.

    If you want to stay in the Apple product line, do consider the Extreme.

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